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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
RTS and other transit agencies across the U.S. are asking customers to participate in a brief online survey about their bus service. Data from all agencies will be collected and combined to help guide the formation of a national benchmark of best practices in public transit and help improve service for customers. The American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG) is coordinating the survey effort. ABBG was established in 2011 as a forum for mid-sized bus organizations in the U.S. to learn from each other by comparing performance, sharing experiences, and identifying best practices.
Subway ridership in New York City has reach the highest annual ridership in more than 65 years. According to new MTA New York City Transit figures, ridership grew 2.6% to 1.751 billion customers in 2014. At its busiest, the subway system carried more than 6 million customers on 29 weekdays in the last four months of 2014 – a level not seen since the post-World War II boom.
STATE NEWSA New York City-wide bus rapid transit plan would be developed under Council legislation passed on Thursday. "People in outer borough communities of all types, from Staten Island to southeast Queens to the eastern Bronx, lack mass transit options at a time when we need more mass transit options," said the law's sponsor, Councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn). "Bus rapid transit is a smart, affordable way to significantly expand mass transit options."
The US Department of Transportation allocated $3 million to implement Positive Train Control in New York along Amtrak’s Empire Line from Poughkeepsie to Hoffmann’s near Albany. That technology is GPS and Wi-Fi-based and can stop or slow trains remotely. It will prevent train-to-train collisions and also detect grade crossing malfunctions or objects on the tracks. The DOT’s funding will provide conceptual engineering and environmental work necessary to proceed with implementation of the technology on the Empire Line.
MacQuesten Development LLC and New York State Homes and Community Renewal have announced a new $31.5 million mixed use Transit-Oriented Development for downtown Mount Vernon. “We are particularly excited about this project because it will serve as a catalyst for the creation of a sustainable neighborhood in which people can live, work and have easy access to services and mass transit,” said Rella Fogliano, president, MacQuesten Development LLC.
U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Jim Renacci (R-OH), Reid Ribble (R-WI) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in introducing the Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act, which provides a long-term solution to ensure the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is sustainable. The HTF is set to run out of money in less than 50 days. “We refuse to pass on the liability of our deteriorating roads and bridges to our children and grandchildren,” stated Reps. Pascrell, Renacci, Ribble and Lipinski.
When Amtrak and California's High Speed Rail Authority teamed up last year to request proposals for new train cars for California's Bullet Train and Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, it was in part to encourage bidders to have their manufacturing located inside the United States. Now, the Transportation Department is getting in on the act. In a recent set of proposed rules, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is exploring different ways that transit agencies can incorporate job-creation preferences into their requests for bids.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
Boston, MA -- Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is calling for the resignation of the members of the board that oversees Boston’s T subway system, The Boston Globe reports. The newspaper reported that Baker has said members of his state’s Department of Transportation board should step down, citing reports of financial mismanagement of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which is the nation’s fourth-busiest transit system.
Phoenix, AZ -- New research is emphasizing how important it is for millennials to live where there is a good public transportation system, allowing them to live car-free. A majority of 500 students attending 10 Ohio public and private universities told an advocacy group that they value the importance of living in a place where they could get around without driving after graduation. A study by the Rockefeller Foundation and Transportation for America came to a similar conclusion.
Torrance, CA -- Respondents to METRO’s bus rapid transit (BRT) survey cite numerous benefits the projects have brought to their respective regions, including decreased transit travel times; reduced parking demand in central business districts, urban neighborhoods and university campuses; and direct connections to jobs, housing and other types of transit oriented development.
TRAINING AND EVENTS
The New York Public Transit Association, the Transit Training Institute and NYS PTSB present free workshops that will provide information on Federal ADA regulations for transit operations and hands-on training on the use of securement devices and be will be offered in two convenient locations. The training program is open to one person from an agency. Seating is limited to 20 people.
Call for Presentations at the NY Public Transit Connections Conference & Expo
Transit as a Customer-Oriented Business Webinar
Presented by Jonathan Scherzer, CDTA’s Director of Marketing. Customers are the lifeblood of most any business, but when you are in the business of moving people to jobs, services and recreation, the customer truly comes first. Jonathan will focus on reaching customers early and often with a positive and consistent message. Topics will include tools your agency can deploy to address customer needs: creating a culture of customer service and giving them what they want; ‘are we REALLY engaged with our customers’, internal customer service communications tactics and some lessons learned along the way. (This is a PTLI Component)